Shaggy Dog: Re-Explained

Dec 25 00:02:48 <Artemis> Artemis trudges up the hill and says, as Jason catches up, "I am going to find out zhe nature of zis creature's intent."
Dec 25 00:03:02 <Ragazzo> Lanceux's voice drifts quietly over their radios. «You two keep quiet unless you feel like waking it.»
Dec 25 00:03:20 <Artemis> Artemis only shakes his head and turns his radio volume down low.
Dec 25 00:03:27 <Artemis> He has every intention of waking it.
Dec 25 00:03:54 <E4D> Jason nods in acknowledgement as he repeats with his radio, setting it to VOX.
Dec 25 00:04:15 <Ragazzo> Assuming they keep a steady pace, they'll reach the clearing shortly.
Dec 25 00:04:54 <Artemis> Artemis slows to a creep and carefully scans ahead.
Dec 25 00:05:13 <Ragazzo> There the schuck lays, in the center of the clearing, on it's side, sleeping…apparently.
Dec 25 00:05:22 <Artemis> How far?
Dec 25 00:05:54 <Ragazzo> Twentyish feet
Dec 25 00:06:06 <Artemis> Artemis looks at Jason.
Dec 25 00:07:53 <E4D> Jason loads a magazine of metal-augmented incendiaries and quietly racks the bolt.
Dec 25 00:08:10 <Ragazzo> Roll stealth
Dec 25 00:08:18 <Artemis> Nope. "Avert your gaze."
Dec 25 00:08:18 <Artemis> Artemis directs his view to keep the shuck in his peripheral, so that he can see the type of movement it makes without looking at its head, as he draws his pistol and blasts a .45 caliber round into the earth before them.
Dec 25 00:08:52 <Ragazzo> 4df+5 perc At jason
Dec 25 00:08:52 <Glacon> Ragazzo: perc At jason: 8 (4df+5=+, +, 0, +)
Dec 25 00:10:25 <E4D> Jason sights in, then offsets his vision a few degrees up, not looking directly at the shuck.
Dec 25 00:10:50 <Ragazzo> The hound rolls to it's feet, blinking, and whines/yawns. It's head hangs sleepily to the floor, facing but not looking at either man.
Dec 25 00:11:10 <Artemis> Artemis peeks. "…See?" He points. "A trained dog."
Dec 25 00:12:34 <Ragazzo> At this distance and range they will see the veils that knot together as a collar glimmer with a gentle luminosity.
Dec 25 00:14:22 <Artemis> Artemis keys his radio as he steps out toward the thing.
Dec 25 00:14:50 <Praetor> Mere seconds after the shot is all it takes for the egg warden to appear from the woods, pouncing on all fours. She comes from behind the dog in her dirty dress, hissing.
Dec 25 00:15:58 <Artemis> "Izzhis it, girl," Artemis calls to her. "Izzhis your bear thing?"
Dec 25 00:16:44 <Ragazzo> The schuck turns slightly, head down at the warden's arrival, but seems unsurprised.
Dec 25 00:17:00 <Ragazzo> Head down still, that is
Dec 25 00:18:25 <Praetor> A pair of green wings, similiar to a butterfly's sprout from her back and rapidly fold against her frame. She maintains a healthy distance on her hands and feet, hissing. "Is dogthing. Smells and trepasses in my woods."
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Dec 25 00:21:59 <Ragazzo> The schuck's tail swishes, and it cocks it's head. Puzzled demon dog. It starts to paw at it's collar. Once…twice…
Dec 25 00:22:13 * ChanServ sets mode +q #afteractionmission Jason
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Dec 25 00:22:18 * Ragazzo is now known as Black_Schuck
Dec 25 00:23:13 <Artemis> "Where is your patron, dogthing?" Artemis advances on the dog, pistol in hand but not aimed.
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Dec 25 00:26:46 <Jason> Jason keeps his rifle aimed at the dog, eyes on the Lady beyond.
Dec 25 00:27:41 <Black_Schuck> …three times. Schuck sits, and opens it's eyes, as Artemis approaches. Instead of the hellish red fires one would expect, there is only a mild white glow. It opens it's jaw, and further light pours out, pooling on the ground like mist…
Dec 25 00:28:49 <Artemis> Artemis stops, pointing the pistol at its head. "Answers," he calls to Jason, "Finally."
Dec 25 00:29:12 <Praetor> Said Lady beyond twitches somewhat as a large pair of what can only be described as fleshy hooks sprout from her back as well, exiting the two holes below the wing holes. She circles like a pissed large cat.
Dec 25 00:30:24 <Jason> "Answers? How you figure?"
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Dec 25 00:31:51 <Black_Schuck> The fog-light condenses, slowly forming the cloaked body of a woman, colorless like gray fog, and hazy, but distinctly human. She has a head, for starters, on her shoulders and everything. There is however a white veil tied around her left arm's bicep.
Dec 25 00:32:43 <Artemis> "Bonjour," Artemis says flatly.
Dec 25 00:32:54 <Black_Schuck> Her eyes are wide, very wide. Slender, somewhat past middle-aged in appaerance, and with cropped, neat hair that barely sinks her ears.
Dec 25 00:33:16 <Black_Schuck> "Ah…bonjour."
Dec 25 00:33:58 <Black_Schuck> Her voice is perfectly clear, if distant sounding.
Dec 25 00:34:32 <Black_Schuck> "…you would be…artemis?"
Dec 25 00:34:37 <Praetor> HISS HISS HISS HISS. The hooks rise eagerly.
Dec 25 00:34:45 <Artemis> "Oui. May I ask what it is you are doing here? You have alarm zhe lot of us, and have offended zhe locals." He means the egg bearer.
Dec 25 00:35:12 <Black_Schuck> She turns, and blinks.
Dec 25 00:37:11 <Black_Schuck> Looking at the denmother. Turns back for a second. "If you mean why dear old leonard is following you, it was a favor to my darling cailleach. She asked you all receive some protection, and so I sent him. She said to have the little hound be subtle about it though."
Dec 25 00:37:26 <Black_Schuck> "I could hardly say no, could I? He is hers, after all."
Dec 25 00:38:13 <Artemis> "Leonard," Artemis repeats. He looks at Jason.
Dec 25 00:38:26 <Black_Schuck> "Oh, that's what I call him. Leonard."
Dec 25 00:39:40 <Artemis> Artemis awaits Jason's bearing on the situation.
Dec 25 00:39:44 <Black_Schuck> "Has he caused you all some trouble? I was very clear in my instructions for him to intrude as little as possible with your affairs."
Dec 25 00:40:04 <Praetor> "Dogthing leave woods, fog-mist-lady leave too. My woods." The words are a raspy snarl, coming from a creature that barely understands language to begin with.
Dec 25 00:40:41 <E4D> Jason looks first to the woods-lady. "Can we have just a short bit of time?"
Dec 25 00:41:21 <Black_Schuck> "Oh..oh dear. He -has- caused trouble, hasn't he? I am so sorry…" She's turned to the denmother, and is bowing with sincere humility.
Dec 25 00:41:22 <Praetor> She hisses quietly, unsure. Little tolerance for potential eggbreakers.
Dec 25 00:42:07 <E4D> "This one helped us kill the eggbreaker."
Dec 25 00:42:16 <E4D> Jason points at the large, black dog.
Dec 25 00:42:22 <Artemis> Artemis goes to the denmother and produces her egg from his bag. "Do not worry, zis one is okay for now. If it is not, we will kill it and you can take zhe good parts from wizhin."
Dec 25 00:42:35 <Artemis> He means the dogthing, not the egg
Dec 25 00:43:23 <Praetor> The snarl remains on her face, but the hissing stops. Her wings flick once, dispersing a small puff of spores, and then she is still. She does not leave the 'about to pounce' stance, however.
Dec 25 00:44:29 <Artemis> Artemis smiles at her and tucks the egg away, nodding at Jason.
Dec 25 00:45:08 <E4D> Jason backs away at the sight of the spore cloud, pulling his gas mask from its carrier and putting it in place quickly.
Dec 25 00:45:11 <Black_Schuck> "I am sorry that Cailleach couldn't answer this call herself. She must be quite busy…" The woman appears momentarily lost in thought.
Dec 25 00:45:41 <Black_Schuck> "In any case, I am known as Lens, how may I help you?"
Dec 25 00:45:52 <Black_Schuck> Turning back to the men.
Dec 25 00:46:47 <Artemis> Artemis steps away from the drifting spore cloud and lets Jason handle it.
Dec 25 00:47:20 <E4D> <We need to know why Callie's got such a sudden interest in keeping us safe.>
Dec 25 00:48:39 <Black_Schuck> "Sudden? Oh, you must hardly know her at all. Cailleach cares for everyone, most of all travelers such as you folk."
Dec 25 00:49:17 <E4D> <Uhhh, she threatened to mark and kill us all a week ago. :|> The flatface is audible.
Dec 25 00:49:18 <Black_Schuck> "That spine in the mud Liadan wanted to leave you take your chances on your own, from what she told me."
Dec 25 00:50:25 <Artemis> "They needs us, Jason, just like zhey said while zhreatening us. Zhey still need us."
Dec 25 00:50:42 <Black_Schuck> "Need you…?"
Dec 25 00:50:49 <Black_Schuck> "For what, if I may ask?"
Dec 25 00:52:14 <E4D> Jason glances over at Artemis. <It might be best to speak to her yourself. Get her story, and then come back to us.>
Dec 25 00:53:16 <Black_Schuck> "That would require keeping dear leonard here where he appears not to be welcome."
Dec 25 00:53:47 <Artemis> "It is an extremely dangerous creature zhat we did not know was guarding us. We were concerned."
Dec 25 00:53:54 <Black_Schuck> Schuck scratches himself, and Lens peers at him.
Dec 25 00:54:38 <Black_Schuck> "Oh, I don't mean you. I mean the lovely spirit behind us. Leonard, are you alright?" She turns, looking concerned at Denmother.
Dec 25 00:55:02 <Black_Schuck> "Ma'am, has my leonard upset you somehow?"
Dec 25 00:56:13 <Black_Schuck> Glances over her shoulder. "With all due respect, this is -her- forest, not yours."
Dec 25 00:56:32 <Praetor> Denmother is all you've to be fucking kidding me.jpg. "Trepassers are po-potent. Potential eggbreakers." She spits the last two words out like a condemnation.
Dec 25 00:56:55 <Artemis> "Territory," Artemis explains for the feral girl. He looks at the denmother. "Dogsing help us kill bearsing."
Dec 25 00:57:50 <Black_Schuck> "Ohhhh…oh. *Those* were here? That explains quite a bit…"
Dec 25 00:58:11 <Praetor> HISSS at the mention of bearthing.
Dec 25 00:58:25 <Artemis> "Egg safe from dogsing."
Dec 25 00:58:58 <Black_Schuck> "Oh yes, leonard would never harm a baby, much less an egg."
Dec 25 00:59:37 * Kens (~ten.enilnotpo.nyd.8200F7FA-CRInys|alliztahc#ten.enilnotpo.nyd.8200F7FA-CRInys|alliztahc) has joined #afteractionmission
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Dec 25 01:00:34 <E4D> "We told you we'd keep the egg safe."
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Dec 25 01:01:08 <Black_Schuck> There's an audible ding! Like a oven finishing it's bake time. "Oh! Yes! Finally!" She looks at each of the three people in the clearing, and curtsies briefly. "I'll be back in just a moment…"
Dec 25 01:01:20 <Praetor> "Dogthing piss on tree. Shit in woods. Bad thing. Smells like black-death. /My/ /children/."
Dec 25 01:01:51 <Black_Schuck> The foggy light defining Lens blurs, becoming a shapeless column.
Dec 25 01:02:27 <E4D> "The city's a short distance out of the trees. Have Leonard stay there. It can do its job, and stay away from the lady."
Dec 25 01:03:02 <Black_Schuck> The schuck rolls on it's back, whining.
Dec 25 01:03:08 <Artemis> "Hmm."
Dec 25 01:03:23 <Black_Schuck> And…the light reforms, with Lens now holding a tray of…something.
Dec 25 01:03:33 <Black_Schuck> She looks down at Schuck, and blinks.
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Dec 25 01:04:29 <Black_Schuck> "Oh leonard…hang in there. I'm sure cailleach will be ok with you going home now that these are done. We'll likely need you."
Dec 25 01:04:51 <Black_Schuck> The dog whines a little, but toughens up, layts on it's stomach, being a big boy.
Dec 25 01:05:25 <Artemis> "Jason had a suggestion that will help all of us."
Dec 25 01:05:26 <Black_Schuck> "You said something about a city?"
Dec 25 01:05:35 <Praetor> The denmother…issues a little hissing laugh.
Dec 25 01:07:08 <E4D> "Yes. Move the shuck to the city." Jason points to the northwest. "Put it there and it could still find the invisible things, and it would be away from the eggs, unable to break them."
Dec 25 01:07:29 <E4D> Jason looks to the forest-lady as he says the last bit.
Dec 25 01:09:19 <Praetor> She pauses. "All of you leave my woods soon."
Dec 25 01:10:00 <Artemis> Artemis nods assuringly at her.
Dec 25 01:10:19 <Praetor> "My children hatch soon. I need to feed them. Cannot deal with eggbreakers."
Dec 25 01:10:45 <Black_Schuck> Lens nods distractedly, lifting concave disc off her tray, and turning it over slowly, murmuring to herself. They have a node in the middle. The entire object somehow screams 'beacon'. "Oh…yes…very well. Will your group be moving to that city?"
Dec 25 01:10:56 <Artemis> "Two are dead," Artemis says to the mother. "How many more?"
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Dec 25 01:11:53 <Praetor> She seems to pause, unsure if she should consider the Convoy in her calculations.
Dec 25 01:12:44 <Artemis> "We will help," Artemis offers.
Dec 25 01:13:20 <Praetor> She counts in Chinese. "[One, two, three…]" Mutter.
Dec 25 01:15:26 <Praetor> "[Six], eggbreakers. [Six] bearthings."
Dec 25 01:16:35 <Black_Schuck> "Leonard here took three of them, I believe…."
Dec 25 01:16:44 <Artemis> His brow quirks, not understanding. He holds up a single finger, then adds another finger, counting up until she stops him.
Dec 25 01:17:43 <Praetor> She hisses just as he starts on the second hand.
Dec 25 01:19:20 <Artemis> He stops on six. "Remaining?"
Dec 25 01:20:43 <Praetor> She raises a hand, trying to mimic the 'three' gesture.
Dec 25 01:21:26 <Praetor> Stops. Lowers a finger. Two. Two bearthings, bluh bluh.
Dec 25 01:21:56 <Black_Schuck> "Ah…there are two left?"
Dec 25 01:21:59 <Artemis> "Two left. Three by dogsing, one by us, two remaining." He nods.
Dec 25 01:22:21 <Black_Schuck> "Perhaps I should send the other two back to help Leonard…."
Dec 25 01:22:41 <Artemis> Artemis looks at Jason. "I would like to kill zhese sings before we move, Jason."
Dec 25 01:23:18 <Praetor> "Bearthings crush eggs. Eat them. Take payment back." She twitches at the Shuck.
Dec 25 01:23:35 <Praetor> "Must keep high number of eggs."
Dec 25 01:24:07 <Artemis> "We will hunt zhem togezher, yes?"
Dec 25 01:24:31 <Black_Schuck> Lens blinks, unsure who art is speaking too.
Dec 25 01:24:56 <Artemis> The mother, this time.
Dec 25 01:25:23 <Black_Schuck> Schuck's upper lip curls back, his tail bats the ground irritably.
Dec 25 01:25:44 <Black_Schuck> Lens sighs, and reaching otu, scratches the schuck's head.
Dec 25 01:25:46 <Black_Schuck> It relaxes.
Dec 25 01:26:24 <Black_Schuck> "Dear spirit…." Turning to regard denmother. "Please cease to torment leonard. He has caused you or yours no harm."
Dec 25 01:27:52 <Praetor> Hiss laughter. "No."
Dec 25 01:29:33 <Black_Schuck> Lens flatfaces. Her expression says 'I hate bitchy spirits'. But she sighs, and continues scratching the schuck.
Dec 25 01:29:41 <Black_Schuck> "Very well then."
Dec 25 01:29:54 <Black_Schuck> "I take it neither of you would wish leonard's aid in your hunt?"
Dec 25 01:30:43 <Black_Schuck> *none of you
Dec 25 01:30:47 <Artemis> "I would welcome his aid," Artemis says, offering the mother her egg. "Please, take it and guard your nest. We will hunt bearthings. One of us can see them."
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Dec 25 01:32:08 <Black_Schuck> "Very well, if that is the case his fellows will remain where they are."
Dec 25 01:32:19 <Black_Schuck> "They will be unneeded if he is with you."
Dec 25 01:32:25 <Praetor> She approaches the egg wearily, and one of the hooks descend, taking it up in the fleshly blade as carefully as a china doll. The mother watches both the men and the dog carefully as she does this.
Dec 25 01:32:58 <Black_Schuck> Schuck lays on the ground enraptured by scratches.
Dec 25 01:33:45 <Praetor> The hook lowers it to the tiny Chinese girl's face, and she nuzzles the pod for a moment, rapture taking her visage before she backs away slowly.
Dec 25 01:34:38 <Black_Schuck> "If that is all, I really must finish enchanting these new markers for the dullahan. Do you have any messages you would have me pass onto cailleach or liadan?"
Dec 25 01:35:07 <Artemis> "Tell zhem to contact us personally when zhey are able."
Dec 25 01:35:20 <Praetor> "Stay out of woods." Hiss.
Dec 25 01:36:29 <Black_Schuck> "Oh, that will be soon enough. They'll all be here within a month or so. Not here in this forest, but you know what I mean. And they'll be able to use their own enchantresses then." She chuckles.
Dec 25 01:37:09 <Artemis> Artemis bows slightly. "Sank you for clarifying zhe situation."
Dec 25 01:38:51 <Black_Schuck> "Thank you for your patience. Should you all happen to reach the west coast of america, as Cailleach said you're intending too, please come and find me. I'm sure and your group could both benefit from meeting me." She bows.
Dec 25 01:39:02 <Black_Schuck> Curtsies, rather.
Dec 25 01:39:31 <Artemis> "If possible." He turns back to the denmother.
Dec 25 01:40:55 <Black_Schuck> "Well, if you arrive, I'll contact you then. For now, simply take one of the veils from Leonard when I'm gone. It'll allow him to know when you go hunting."
Dec 25 01:41:13 <Praetor> She is still staring, waiting. "This is her turf, infractions will not be brooked" is pretty much her whole body language right now.
Dec 25 01:41:25 <Black_Schuck> Lens turns to the schuck.
Dec 25 01:41:45 <Black_Schuck> "Leonard, you go wait in that city until the nice people call for you, understand?" Stern voice.
Dec 25 01:41:52 <Black_Schuck> Schuck whines, and nods.
Dec 25 01:41:58 <Black_Schuck> Receives petting.
Dec 25 01:42:19 <Black_Schuck> Back to art and jason.
Dec 25 01:42:51 <Black_Schuck> "Just scratch a miniature crossroads when you intend to set out, and drop the veil on it. He'll appear."
Dec 25 01:43:06 <Artemis> Artemis nods at Lens, then looks at the mother. "We kill eggbreakers," he says simply, before going back over to the Shuck and taking its collar.
Dec 25 01:43:28 <Black_Schuck> It's made of enoguh veils that he can untie one, and then reseal it.
Dec 25 01:43:42 <Black_Schuck> As soon as he undoes the knot though, Lens vanishes.
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Dec 25 01:44:21 <Artemis> Artemis speaks into his radio.
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Dec 25 01:44:41 <Artemis> «I encourage Lonce to promote zhe Chinaman's presence.»
Dec 25 01:47:32 <Black_Schuck> «Ahhh, the oriental? Why would you want him?» Lanceux.
Dec 25 01:48:40 <Artemis> «Ah… he saw zhe creature, no? Wait, I suppose you all can, can't you? Zhis is a silly notion.» Artemis shakes his head.
Dec 25 01:49:18 <Black_Schuck> «As silyl as it is, it does kind of make sense we all would be able too.»
Dec 25 01:50:19 <Artemis> «On our way back.»
Dec 25 01:51:34 <Black_Schuck> The schuck walks up to artemis.
Dec 25 01:51:41 <Maddy> «S-solid copy.»
Dec 25 01:51:47 <Black_Schuck> Starts rubbing against his leg's.
Dec 25 01:51:59 <Black_Schuck> rubrubrubrub
Dec 25 01:52:42 <Praetor> Hiss laughter. The denmother watches, her expression saying 'i let you go'.
Dec 25 01:53:04 <Artemis> "Go on," Artemis urges stoically. "Go on, beast." He points in the direction of the city.
Dec 25 01:53:44 <Black_Schuck> Did artemis reknot the collar?
Dec 25 01:54:14 <Artemis> He did not, if he was not told to.
Dec 25 01:54:54 <Artemis> He does so now if he was.
Dec 25 01:54:57 <Black_Schuck> The veils lay on the earth, gradually shimmering more and more dully.
Dec 25 01:55:03 <Black_Schuck> He wasn't instructed too.
Dec 25 01:55:21 <Artemis> He fiddles with it.
Dec 25 01:55:33 <Black_Schuck> The schuck has eyes only for artemis at the moment.
Dec 25 01:55:41 <Black_Schuck> Fiddles iwth what…?
Dec 25 01:59:07 <Black_Schuck> The schuck slinks off after some more rubbing.
Dec 25 02:00:20 <Artemis> Artemis ties the collar up again, upon seeing the fading light.
Dec 25 02:00:53 <Artemis> "When we kill zhe bearsings, you will know," he calls to the mother as he turns to leave.
Dec 25 02:01:19 <Praetor> "I know everything," she says completely seriously, watching him as he retreats.